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General Practice Dental Residency Program

The General Practice Residency Program is designed to provide advanced professional instruction and experience to a recent Dental School graduate. The resident will have the opportunity to participate in a supervised practice in a hospital environment, treating both inpatients and outpatients.

General Practice Dental Residency Program


Staff and consultants representing all the dental specialties will continually monitor the resident.  The program will be formal in structure and include meaningful rotations through various hospital services of the Medical Center, in addition to patient care activity on the Dental Section.  Even though the resident will form interests in certain facets of his/her dental practice, the theme of this program will continually be General Dentistry, and he/she will perform in that capacity.  Initial patient contact, examination, diagnosis, emergency procedures and treatment planning will be heavily stressed.  Comprehensive care of patients will be emphasized, to allow the resident to provide the required dental treatment with interdisciplinary oversight.  Lectures from the staff and consultants, literature reviews and problem case presentations will round out this residency program.

The resident will graduate from this program more knowledgeable, confident, and skilled in General Dentistry and realize that his/her learning experience will be a continuum.


The potential resident must be:

  1. A U.S. citizen, or possess a valid work VISA for the United States.
  2. A graduate from an accredited U.S. or Canadian dental school.
  3. Approved by the Dental Education Committee of the VA Medical Center, Detroit, MI.



The Director of the General Practice Residency Program is responsible for the organization, integration, and supervision of the program.  He/She coordinates the requirements of this residency program with our VA faculty and visiting consultants.  He/She has the responsibility for coordination and scheduling of components of the curriculum and supervising their operation.  The Director guides the resident from initial orientation to the Medical Center into his/her academic and clinical schedule.  He/She also continually monitors the progress of the resident and makes reports to the Dental Education Committee.


This body is composed of the:

  • Chief Dental Section, VA Medical Center, Detroit, Michigan, (Chairman).
  • Director of the General Practice Residency Program.

The function of the Committee is:

  1. To supervise the Dental Education Program.
  2. Monitor the progress of the dental residents.
  3. Continuously monitor feedback from rotations as well as resident evaluations, to make improvements in the program.
  4. The Committee has meetings as needed to address occurrences requiring action of the committee as a whole.


This VA Medical Center is located on 19 acres of land, in a setting adjacent to the Detroit Medical Center complex.  The downtown business district of Detroit is approximately 5 miles away.  The center provides health care services to approximately 460,000 veterans residing in the Detroit metropolitan area encompassing Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, and St. Clair counties.

The center’s bed capacity of 134 includes surgical, medical, psychiatric and intermediate care beds, and 84 nursing home care beds.  The Medical Center serves as the clinic of jurisdiction for Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.  An estimated 6000 inpatients, and 260,000 outpatient visits will occur annually.  The Medical Center is affiliated with Wayne State University School of Medicine, which attracts a staff of outstanding physicians who also hold academic appointments on the faculty of the Medical School.  Medical students receive a significant part of their clinical training at the Medical Center during their second, third, and fourth years.

The Medical Center sponsors an American Dental Association approved General Practice Residency and Post Graduate Prosthodontic Program.

The Dental Clinic is located on the 2nd floor of the Medical Center in the “C” Building.  It consists of 16 General Practice/ Prosthodontic Operatories, a well-equipped Dental Laboratory, a Dental Hygiene/Preventive Dentistry/ Periodontics area, and an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery suite.  The Dental staff consists of five General Dentists, two Prosthodontists, one Periodontist, one Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, two General Practice Residents and one Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Resident.  Fourteen competent ancillary staff members provide support.  The Dental Service is affiliated with the University of Detroit/Mercy, School of Dentistry.

There are approximately 1,300 employees in the Medical Center clinics, comprising a complete team of physicians, dentists, nurses, and allied health professionals, and a full range of ancillary staff.  Over 950 volunteers from service, civic and fraternal organizations, along with individuals from the community, supplement services to patients.

Along with other VA healthcare facilities in this geographic area, this Medical Center is part of a VA Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN).  The Medical Centers of the VISN coordinate the management and utilization of their equipment, personnel, and other resources in order to deliver health care services more efficiently and economically.

Teaching Staff

Ronald Kitchen, DDS

  • Prosthodontist
  • Chief, Dental Section, Surgical Service
  • Preceptor & Lecturer, General Practice Residency Program

Rhonda Brown, DDS

  • General Dentist
  • Director, General Practice Residency Program

William Cheslin, DDS, MD

  • Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
  • Preceptor and Lecturer, General Practice Residency

Rami Jandali, DMD, MS

  • Prosthodontist
  • Preceptor and Lecturer, General Practice Residency Program

Mercedes Betz, DDS

  • General Dentist
  • Preceptor, General Practice Residency Program

Gregory Bolden, DDS

  • General Dentist
  • Preceptor, General Practice Residency Program

Rex Briones, DDS

  • General Dentist
  • Preceptor, General Practice Residency Program

Linda Kuet, DMD

  • General Dentist
  • Preceptor, General Practice Residency Program

Joan Lanier, DDS

  • Endodontist
  • Preceptor, General Practice Residency Program

Tamika Thompson-Sloan, DDS, MS

  • Periodontist
  • Preceptor, General Practice Residency Program


The VAMC, Detroit, Dental Section has affiliations with the University of Detroit/Mercy, School of Dentistry. The VA Medical Center has a close relationship with the Detroit Medical Center, which encompasses Harper-Grace Hospital, Children’s Hospital, and Detroit Receiving Hospital.

Dental Department Rotation

To view required forms, click the plus (+) sign for each accordion group for details. Double click on each form to open and save it.

a. Oral Diagnosis

This rotation offers the resident a “first contact with patient” experience.  Both inpatients and outpatients are thoroughly evaluated before any dental treatment is instituted.  Clinical and radiographic examination, review and documentation of the medical and dental history, treatment planning, and provision of palliative emergency care are all completed in this area.  Consultations with medical or dental staff will be initiated at this phase.

b. Endodontics

Pulpal microbiology, pathology and anatomy will be discussed and formally studied in this rotation.  The importance of careful, methodical, and accurate diagnosis will be emphasized.  A variety of conventional treatment techniques will be experienced, with emphasis on developing an efficient, practical approach to endodontics.  To broaden the residents’ background and treatment capabilities, endo-perio complications, surgical endodontics, apexification, bleaching, and management of traumatic injuries will be discussed and experienced where possible.

c. Fixed Prosthodontics/Implantology

The goal of this dental specialty is to offer the resident a variety of experiences ranging from simple to complex.  Case selection, treatment planning, importance of basic and modified tooth preparation, principles of occlusion, and dental material capabilities will be stressed.  Staff supervision will be continual and supportive, especially with the more difficult cases.  Periodic literature reviews and consultant exposure will add more dimensions to the resident experience.

d. Removable Prosthodontics

Successful Removable Prosthodontics is a result of careful case treatment planning, continual review of construction principles through case preparation and adherence to anatomical and physiologic principles.  The resident has the opportunity to treat all types of cases requiring highly skilled forethought and performance.  In this hospital environment it becomes very obvious that this dental specialty is probably the most required and sought after in the Dental Section.  Case selection, treatment planning, laboratory technique, and coordinated oral surgery departmental support will be the outstanding features of this portion of the program.

e. Operative Dentistry

The primary objective in this rotation is to vastly broaden the resident’s capabilities to accomplish restorative dentistry.  Supervised instruction on the use of newer restorative materials, their properties, indications and limitation will be offered by various staff members.  A variety of cases ranging from the routine one or two surface restoration, to the complex pin-retained core will be completed.  Occlusal concepts will be reviewed and some basic principles of odontoplasty will be discussed and demonstrated.

f. Periodontics

The resident will be exposed to as many varied diagnoses of periodontal disease as possible.  The invaluable importance of case documentation and treatment planning will continually be stressed throughout this rotation.  Basic and advanced surgical techniques will be discussed, demonstrated, and experienced by the resident.  A very thorough understanding of the relationship of the basic sciences (microbiology, anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology) to clinical treatment of patients shall be a primary goal of the mentor.  The importance of selecting the type of periodontal therapy and the strategic timing of its implementation into a dynamic treatment plan will constitute another major goal of this department.  The basics of intra-oral photography will be demonstrated during this rotation.  As the resident rotates out of this specialty phase, he/she will be tasked with the continuous responsibility of updating his/her knowledge and experience in the field of Periodontology

g. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

During this rotation, the resident will enhance his/her skills in cases ranging from routine exodontia, to the more complex flap surgery and third molar extractions.  Emphasis will be placed on instrumentation, aseptic technique, atraumatic technique, and post-operative management of outpatient surgical cases.

Experience will be gained in patient evaluation and exposure to major oral surgical procedures within an operating room environment.  An important part of the training will be in the pre-operative and post-operative management of inpatients. 

This rotation will be supervised by the staff Oral Surgeon. 

Medical Rotations

a. Anatomical and Clinic Pathology

During the rotation in the Laboratory Service the resident will gain exposure to the multitude of routine laboratory tests and their significance.  He/she will gain experience in venipuncture techniques in the healthy as well as critically ill patient.  This will assist in the anesthesia rotation as well as develop greater confidence in starting IVs for emergency situations.  His/her rotation will also involve exposure to autopsy technique correlated with microscope interpretation.  His/her involvement with CPC will be part of the program.  This rotation occurs for a period of one week.

b. Department of Anesthesiology

A very fulfilling rotation will be through the Department of Anesthesiology.  The resident will gain experience and exposure to various anesthetic techniques.  The rotation will be heavily based in the pharmacology of drugs, especially those in the treatment of Dental patients and concomitant emergencies.  Knowledge of pre-operative, operative, and post-operative evaluation of patients will be a starting point for the resident’s medical rotation, and a further building block to overall education as a dentist.  This rotation occurs for a period of two weeks.

c. Internal Medicine

The general practice resident will participate with an internal medicine treatment team, managing the care of inpatients.  Here under the auspices of very qualified staff, the general practice resident will learn to perform a thorough history and physical examination.  Patient evaluation and treatment will be stressed during this rotation.  The general practice resident will gain knowledge and experience in managing patients with medical problems such as diabetes, rheumatic fever, hypertension, and kidney dysfunction, and will then be able to more effectively provide dental care for these patients.  The resident’s rotation through the Medical Service will make him/her more aware and cognizant of various medical problems, their treatment, and likewise their management in the dental environment.  During this rotation, the resident will be assigned to an inpatient medical treatment team for a period of one month.

d. Emergency Room (Urgent Care)

This rotation will expose the GPR to "urgent care" patients in our emergency room.  The rotation will be scheduled for the one week and will expose the resident to management of acute medical care patients.

Sample Curriculum for General Practice Residency

Month Description Clinic July Orientation Dental Clinic August * Oral Surgery Dental Clinic September *** Anesthesia October ** Pathology & Hematology and Dental Clinic November **** Internal Medicine Dental Clinic December * Periodontics and Dental Clinic January * Emergency Room and Dental Clinic February Dental Clinic March * Oral Surgery Dental Clinic April * Oral Surgery Dental Clinic May Dental Clinic June Dental Clinic


*           ½ Day Rotation

**            All Day Rotation, One week

***          All Day Rotation, Two weeks

****      All Day Rotation, One Month Rotation

Please Note:   This is a “Generic” schedule and will be modified to meet GPR & Clinical requirements.

Ratio of Dental Clinic rotation to off-service rotation is approximately 70/30


a. Literature review - one per month each resident
b. Lecture (clinical specialty) - at least one per month for each specialty.
c. Problem case discussion and treatment planning sessions-one per month per resident.
d. Preceptor - Resident conference - at least one per month, or any other time it is needed.
e. Seminars weekly - all phases of dentistry and medicine.

Applicant Requirements

Developed/Revised (10/21) by: Rhonda S. Brown D.D.S., Director, GPR Program